March 30, 2012

Learn How To Create iOS Games From Scratch [Deals]

Learn How To Create iOS Games From Scratch [Deals]

Take a glance at the App Store Top Paid Apps list and you’ll see that 7 out of 10 are games. So, if you want to CRUSH it with an iOS app…then this iOS game development course may just be your ticket.

Angry Birds, Cut The Rope, Peggle— each one is as unique as they come, but they’re tied together to one simple principle: they’re built using Cocos2D. In this course, expert Cocos2D instructor, Marin Todorov takes a hands-on approach and walks you step-by-step through the process of building a complete game.

Get it while you can, this Cult of Mac Deal is 50% off for a limited time!

With This Course You’ll Learn How To:

• Install and include Cocos2d for iPhone in your projects
• Understand scene workflow in Cocos2d
• Work with scene transitions
• Put image sprites on the screen and manipulate their properties
• Run animations and actions on your sprites
• Chain and run simultaneously different actions
• Build menus in Cocos2d
• Plan and design a simple game
• Develop simple games
• and much more..

You Get Over 18 Video Lectures and 7 Hours of Content:

• Chapter 1: Introduction (4 minutes of video)
• Chapter 2: Installing and Understanding Cocos2d (2.5 hours of video instruction)
• Chapter 3: Your First Game – Monkey Trampoline (30 minutes of video instruction)
• Chapter 4: Deeper into Cocos2d with the “Numbers Match” Game (2.5 hours of video instruction)
• Chatper 5: Bonus Game – Bubble Pop (over an hour of video instruction)

If you’ve ever had an idea for a cool iOS App game, this is your chance to learn the language that makes it happen!

Grab the video tutorial on How to Create an iOS Game from our Cult of Mac Deals page now for 50% off while the savings last — which won’t be for long!

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Explore The Final Hours of Portal 2 On Your iPad

StackSocial

is co-founder of StackSocial, an e-commerce platform offering flash sales on digital tools, web apps, and tech gear, including Culf of Mac Deals. He’s travelled to over 30 countries, spends way too much time (and money) on all things Apple, and hails from the under-appreciated state of Indiana. Follow Josh on Twitter @jnpayne or find out more about him on his personal blog.

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Cult of Mac

Lego Apple Store could become reality with your support

Everybody loves Lego, and almost everybody loves Apple. Put the two of them together, and you have a Lego Apple Store. Lego Cuusoo user “gotoandbuild” has designed a Lego Modular Apple Store that he’d love to get votes for so his design can possibly become a real product.

Lego Cuusoo is like a “Kickstarter for Lego,” where Lego fans can show off their creations and get support for their designs. Once a design has 10,000 votes, Lego will do a design review and consider a design for possible production.

At this point, the project only has 56 supporters, but I’m hoping that enough Apple fans out there will sign up to support the project so we can all own our own Apple Stores at some point in the future. Tweet this post, Lego fans.

Many thanks for Larry for the tip!



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

Why Your Next Car will Have an Apple iDash

Why Your Next Car will Have an Apple iDash

Is Apple getting into the car business? No, Apple isn’t building a car. But it makes perfect sense that Apple would be working on an in-dash system.

The car blog Jalopnik said this week that a Chinese head-hunting firm is apparently helping Apple hire someone expert in the manufacturing of car parts. The recruiter apparently placed the position in the automotive section of LinkedIn. The listing said:

“Apple(China) Looking for SQE/NPI with over 4 years Mechanical engineering background familiar with CNC/die casting/stamping/plastic injection, can use APQP/ PPAP/SPC to control product quality.”

PatentlyApple.com has reported over the years multiple patents held by Apple for in-car user interfaces.

The circumstantial evidence suggests that Apple is at least thinking about getting serious about the automotive dashboard business.

And getting into the car business just makes sense for Apple. Here’s why. 

People Consume Content in Cars

As I’ve written on this blog before, Apple doesn’t see itself as a generic consumer electronics company, as most outside people see it.

Apple sees itself as a content experience company. High-end devices like iMacs are optimized for the creation of content. And mobile devices are optimized for the consumption of content.

Apple’s approach to everything is that it pursues opportunities to improve the content consumption experience wherever that experience is wanting for millions of users. They do it with integrated hardware, software and services working together to make the experience awesome instead of awful.

The music experience sucked, and Apple fixed it with iPod and iTunes.

The mobile phone content experience sucked, and Apple fixed it with iPhone and the App Store.

The video, eBook, web site experiences sucked, and Apple fixed it with iPad, iTunes the App Store and iCloud.

The TV and home movie experience still sucks, and Apple is working on fixing it with Apple TV and a future rumored TV set.

Guess what? Driving or riding in a car is a major and universal content consumption experience. Almost everyone in the “industrialized world” gets in a car every day. And almost everyone who gets into a car consumes content in that car.

And the experience sucks.

Most people still listen to crappy FM radio, and simply use their phones for content.

Most new cars come with jacks that let you plug your iPhone or other phone or music player into the sound system. Meh. Not ideal. Others connect via Bluetooth.

High-end cars, and even many mid-range cars, have GPS navigation built into the dash. But most people use the Maps app on their phone to get around. Taking eyes off the wheel while trying to read tiny text on the phone is dangerous.

Many high-end family cars, SUVs and minivans come with displays behind the front-seat headrests so parents can pacify kids with DVDs. The content available tends to be non-educational garbage. And swapping out the content is often done by the driver, which is dangerous.

Despite laws and warnings, nearly everyone talks on their phone inside cars. And some even text by actually looking at the screen and typing.

Apple already has 95% of the solution to all these content consumption, convenience and safety problems.

An iPad built into the dash would be simply awesome. iCloud could sync content with what people have already downloaded, purchased or created at home. This wouldn’t even require mobile broadband — the iPad would load itself with content using the home Wi-Fi network while the car is parked in the driveway. Of course, mobile broadband would also be a nice extra.

Siri control would enable drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, even while getting turn-by-turn directions or navigating music or podcasts.

iPads in the back for the kids would enable parents to load those screens with educational content, and enable the kids themselves to control it so the parent driver doesn’t have to worry about it.

The integration of Apple into dashboards is already in the works at the pricey end of the spectrum.

Mercedes Benz will demonstrate later this week at the Geneva Motor Show an upgrade option called the Drive Kit Plus, which interoperates with the driver’s iPhone via Siri.

But what about the 99%? The Mercedes solution will leave literally hundreds of millions of people consuming content the old-and-busted way. Apple has good reasons to step in and offer the new hotness.

But how?

First of all, Apple would need to make installed iPads both safe, and integrated.

From a safety perspective, any installed iPad would need to be strongly embedded so it didn’t become loose in an accident. The sound system — both speakers and microphone — would have to be integrated into the car’s sound system — and Apple would want to control what those electronics are to maximize the experience.

iPads look bad in direct sunlight, so some work needs to be done there.

And the real home run would be for all the car’s details — gas gauge, speedometer, odometer, etc., to be displayed in an app, rather than with a Victorian-era dial or a separate electronic displays built into another part of the dash.

In order to maximize the experience, Apple would want to control how and where the iPad was installed. In order to do that, the company would need to hire outside expertise — say, by placing an ad in China for a mechanical engineer familiar with factory manufacturing.

They would work with car companies the same way they work with wireless carriers — our way or the highway. Apple would offer to do the design work, and integrate with a car’s electronics. But Apple would control the app ecosystem, and both how the in-dash system is designed and marketed to the public.

Apple is obviously a desirable premium brand, which would help auto makers sell a lot of cars. Some car companies, such as Ford, have done an enormous amount of work to build all this capability themselves, working with partners like Microsoft. Such features like voice control, and integrated navigation and music playing help Ford succeed in the car market.

Everyone else would be able to leapfrog Ford by signing a single contract with Apple.

Apple in cars is a no-brainer. It’s exactly in line with Apple’s mission, core competency and historic role as the transformer of content consumption.

I think they’re going to do it.

Picture courtesy of Stuart Hughes: https://plus.google.com/113117251731252114390/posts/hGdwYRf2hu6

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Apple Is Planning To Turn The TV Industry Upside Down [Report]

Cult of Mac

Fun Game: Rule Your Empire Like a Boss

Be A King Golden Empire

Every week Mac Games and More features a fun, casual game you can play over the weekend. This week’s game puts you in the shoes and crown of a king, where you’re tasked at rebuilding a country that is now a pile of rubble. Download it now

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Fun Game: Rule like a Pharoah of Ancient Egypt

cate defrise

Cate Defrise is an earth and health-conscious American foodie who is developing indie mac games and apps in France. Her site is Mac Games And More. Follow Cate on Twitter and on Facebook.

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Posted in Gaming, Mac | Tagged: , , , , , , |

Cult of Mac

Photos from the new Amsterdam Apple Store opening

The new Apple Store in Amsterdam, Netherlands is a work of art. The exterior has a classic European look and the inside is filled with Apple’s gorgeous mix of glass, metal and minimalist design. Two of our readers were on hand at the opening today and sent us links to their photos. You can check out a selection from our gallery below and head over to Flickr to see the rest of the set taken by Rick van Overbeek. There’s also two remarkable 3D panorama photos from Henri Smeets that show the outside and the inside of the store.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog

U.S. Air Force To Buy Up To 18,000 iPads

U.S. Air Force To Buy Up To 18,000 iPads

The U.S. Air Force has been awarded a $ 9.36 million to buy up to 18,000 iPads. They will be used for navigation and as digital flight manuals.

It’s one of the military’s largest orders of tablets.

The Air Force joins civilian airlines in the use of iPads to replace hefty manuals and charts. Both American Airlines and Alaska started using iPads as “electronic flight bags.”

The Air Force will be buying up to 18,000 32GB iPad 2s, depending on funding.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll purchase all 18,000,” said Captain Kathleen Ferrero, a military spokeswoman. “It’s contingent upon funding requests and approval.”

The Air Force is already evaluating 63 iPad 2s.

Apple beat out 24 proposals from other companies. The military wasn’t particularly looking at the iPad, and based its decision partly on the lowest price, Ferrero said.

Bloomberg: Air Force Gives $ 9 Million Award for as Many as 18,000 IPads

Via iMore.

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FAA Approves iPads in American Airlines Cockpit

Cult of Mac

Samsung Securities says 7″ ‘iPad mini’ coming in Q3 2012, Apple investigating flexible panels

By Josh Ong

Published: 10:10 AM EST (07:10 AM PST)
A leaked document from Samsung’s investment bank has revealed that the firm believes Apple is planning to release a 7-inch “iPad mini” device in the third quarter of 2012 and is interested in flexible AMOLED panels for future generations of its tablets.

OLED-Display.net claims to have obtained the official document, which is dated December 2011, from “an anonymous user” at Samsung.

According to the research note, which discusses the state of AMOLED in the industry, analyst JungHoon Chang predicted Apple will release the third-generation iPad in the first quarter of 2012 and “a new 7-inch product temporarily referred to as the iPad mini” in the third quarter of this year. Chang also appeared to confirm the use of “higher-resolution IPS panels” in the next-generation iPad.

Chang added that Sharp is “trying to produce” IGZO LCD panels for the iPad at its 8G lab, but may not have been successful in mass producing the screens in time for the so-called “iPad 3,” which is expected to be unveiled at an Apple media event next week.

The analyst went on to note that Apple “may yet decide” to incorporate flexible panels into future iPad models, if panel makers such as Samsung Mobile Display (SMD) can increase yields of flexible AMOLED panels and improve resolution. Currently, SMD can produce just 54 million AMOLED panels annually, even if it converted its 5.5G line for tablet production, Chang said.

As such, Samsung’s AMOLED production is likely not yet ready to meet Apple’s demands for iPad orders. For instance, another analyst predicted this week that Apple will sell 55 million third-generation iPad units in 2012 due to “significant” hardware improvements such as the expected Retina Display, rumored support for Siri voice recognition and possible 4G LTE connectivity.

Samsung itself has been a major proponent of AMOLED screens and has made use of the technology in its Galaxy S and Galaxy S II smartphones and its Galaxy Tab 7.7 tablet. Though Apple CEO Tim Cook was said to have met with Samsung executives to discuss using AMOLED for the iPad, Apple is believed to have passed on the displays for its third-generation iPad, in part because of concerns over production volume and pixel density and quality.

The South Korean company announced last month that it will spin off its LCD manufacturing business into a separate company later this spring. The move is expected to allow the resulting LCD business to merge with SMD into a new company tentatively named Samsung Display Co., Ltd. One reported reason for the spin-off is to alleviate concerns from clients, such as Apple, who are purchasing components from the LCD side while simultaneously competing with products coming out of the company’s consumer electronics arm.

The leaked Samsung Securities document emerges just days after a separate rumor claimed Apple’s supply chain partners are likely to begin volume production of a 7.85-inch iPad as early as the third quarter of 2012. Last month, The Wall Street Journal lent credence to claims that Apple is working on a smaller iPad with a report claiming that Apple was testing 8-inch form factor devices with a similar screen resolution as the iPad 2.

However, talk of a smaller-sized iPad has drawn skeptical looks from some who cite comments from late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dismissing the possibility of a 7-inch tablet. “The reason we [won't] make a 7-inch tablet isn’t because we don’t want to hit that price point, it’s because we think the screen is too small to express the software,” Jobs said during a conference call in 2010.

AppleInsider

Apple’s App Store reaches 25 billion download milestone

By Josh Ong

Published: 01:30 AM EST (10:30 PM PST)
The App Store reached the historic milestone of 25 billion application downloads early on Saturday, though Apple has yet to announce the winner of the $ 10,000 App Store gift card.

Apple changed the counter on its homepage to a thank you page early on Saturday after it reached the 25 billion number. The graphic shows the App Store icon surrounded by icons of popular iOS apps, such as Twitter, Yelp, Instagram, eBay and Fruit Ninja.

“A billion thanks. 25 times over. The App Store has reached 25 billion downloads. Thanks for getting us there,” the page read.

Customers are instructed to come back to the 25 billion app countdown page later to see who won the App Store gift card.

The countdown took just over two weeks from when Apple initiated it on February 17. At that time, the number of app downloads stood around 24.29 billion.

Apple held a similar countdown to the 10 billionth App Store download last year and reached the milestone on January 22, 2011.

The company has paid out over $ 4 billion to App Store developers and now carries roughly 600,000 applications in the digital storefront. The App Store launched in 2008, serving up 1.5 billion applications in its first year of operation.

AppleInsider

25 Billion Downloads: Apple’s App Store Hits Giant Milestone

25 Billion Downloads: Apple’s App Store Hits Giant Milestone

Apple’s App Store just hit 25 billion app downloads. The countdown just clicked over at about 9.45PM PST. Apple has promised a $ 10,000 gift card to the person who downloaded the 25,000,000,000 billionth app. The winner will be notified shortly and revealed on the countdown’s web page.

The countdown began on February 17th and proceeded at an estimated rate of 49 million app downloads a day. It took the wildly popular App Store just four years to reach the 25 billion download mark. By contrast, it took eight-and-half years for 16 billion songs downloaded to be downloaded from the iTunes Store.

Here’s a video of Apple’s 25 billion countdown timer clicking over:

Apple has run similar promotions on the past, celebrating the 10 billion apps downloaded as well as 10 billion music tracks downloaded.

In 2011, the winner of the app download countdown, Gail Davis of Orpington, Kent, hung up on Apple, thinking it was a prank.

On Friday, Apple released some numbers about the “App Economy,” claiming it has created 210,000 jobs for iOS developers. Apple has paid more than $ 4 billion to developers since the App Store launched in 2007.

The Android market, which claims about 450,000 apps, hit 10 billion downloads in December 2011.

DON’T MISS
And The $ 10K iTunes Winner Is… Gail Davis of Orpington, Kent

Cult of Mac

25 billionth app downloaded from the App Store

Sometime this evening, some lucky person downloaded the 25 billionth app from the App Store. The graphic you see above showed up between midnight and 1 AM ET, although I wasn’t able to capture the exact time.

If you’re the winner of Apple’s US$ 10,000 App Store credit, we’d love to talk to you. The rest of you? Tell us what you downloaded from the App Store to enter Apple’s commemorative giveaway. My pick? It was Paper Karma, an app to reduce the amount of junk mail you get.



TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog